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"What is the last thing that your patrons taste/drink before leaving a restaurant ?" And if you do not believe me go out there and watch. Nearly everybody will toss back that last cold cup of coffee before leaving their table, therefore it is vitally important that your coffee tastes wonderful hot, warm or cold. Now how can you be sure that your coffee tastes good. STEP ONE : CLEAN the EQUIPMENT Cleanliness is more important than godliness, therefore ensure that y...

Cold Coffee-Who Woulda Thought

Cold Coffee-Who Woulda Thought"What is the last thing that your patrons taste/drink before leaving a restaurant ?" And if you do not believe me go out there and watch. Nearly everybody will toss back that last cold cup of coffee before leaving their table, therefore it is vitally important that your coffee tastes wonderful hot, warm or cold. Now how can you be sure that your coffee tastes good. STEP ONE : CLEAN the EQUIPMENT Cleanliness is more important than godliness, therefore ensure that you not only clean your bowls every night (there must be a joke in that line somewhere), and your coffee supplier can give you urn cleaner to really clean them occasionally, or run them through the dishwasher. DO NOT FORGET THE BREW BASKET. This will be dirtier than everything else, so once again ensure that there is no oily residue, plus clean the showerhead, and the area around it. If you have an urn or dual system, ask your coffee supplier to come in and train/educate your staff on how to properly clean the equipment. STEP TWO: CALIBRATE the EQUIPMENT Many times I go into a restaurant to find the brewer is short-potting (no this is not a gardening term), and the remedy can be very simple. Adjust the timer or float mechanism. BUT, maybe the equipment is short potting because the water line (including the filter/strainer) or machine or showerhead is clogged with lime, or some other gunk. Cleaning and maybe de-liming is necessary. Remember that if your brew time is too long, your resulting (revolting) coffee will be bitter, with a burnt after-taste. Its rather like drinking coal tar - although I must admit I cannot remember the last time I knocked back a shot of coal tar. Also, ensure that the water coming out of the showerhead is at the correct temperature, too cold and you will underextract, too hot and we start going down the coal-tar path again. A simple thing to check (use an oral thermometer, not a r...... one), and then adjust the temperature on the thermostat as necessary. STEP THREE : WATER A cup of coffee is 98% (approx) water, so if your water tastes lousy, your coffee will taste lousy. So test your faucet water by comparing it to the taste of a bottle of filtered water. And if necessary, put in a proper water filtration system. Remember your ice, soda, and cooking will all taste better. STEP FOUR : YOUR COFFEE/COFFEE SUPPLIER The people responsible at your coffee roaster will cup (taste) coffees through the temperature range, right down to room temperature - specifically to address the question at the top of this page, and to ensure that the coffee tastes good even when its been sitting for a while in your coffee cup. The coffee cupper (and by the way the best tea tasters, coffee cuppers, and wine sommeliers are all women, this is because physiologically God built a womans mouth differently to a man, and women have much better taste buds than men ) will cup and blend the coffee so that the taste profile always remains the same. People do not want surprises when they first wake up, least of all in their coffee cup at 7am, therefore the job of cupping and blending is one of the most difficult in the world. Mind you, most people dont want a surprise in their martinis about 12 hours later, so once again tasting and blending is vital. Having determined that your coffee supplier/roaster (hopefully one and the same company) can roast and blend coffee well, lets look at packaging, and the whole bean versus fractional pack/ground coffee debate. Your coffee supplier is loaning you brewing equipment, and if you want to do a whole bean programme (no that is not a spelling mistake), they will lend you a portion control/doser grinder. Now the grinder they lend you will be a proper commercial grinder, costing about $700. But just consider that your roaster uses a grinder where the blades alone cost upwards of $15,000, and your roaster is checking the degree of grind several times a day with very expensive and sophisticated equipment. Therefore what chance do you have with a $700 grinder of achieving a consistent grind? And just remember that your brewed coffee quality will vary enormously with the vagaries of heat and humidity playing havoc with the coffee particle size coming out of your grinder. Or you can buy fractional packs, which have been nitrogen flushed to remove oxygen and preserve freshness. A doctorate in nuclear engineering is not required to understand that fractional packs will always produce a better, and more consistent brew than a whole bean programme. The difference between local/regional coffee roasters is not in the roasting. Anyone can set themselves up as roaster. Even you. Buy some green beans and toss them into your hot air popcorn popper, and Voila you have air-roasted some coffee. And provided you didnt cremate them, they probably smell wonderful. No, the difference in coffee roasters is how they buy the coffee, where they buy their coffee, how they blend the coffee, and most importantly (and this is really where the women are separated from the girls/ politically correct phraseology) how they pack the coffee. Coffees enemies are heat, oxygen, light and humidity. Therefore coffee that does not arrive in your restaurant in foil/film wrapped, hermetically sealed bags will lose its freshness within a day or two. BUT, packing equipment is very expensive to buy and run, and this where the difference lies between a roaster dedicated to ensuring freshness in your patrons coffee cup, and one who does not have what it takes. And now dear readers to summarize : Correctly clean and calibrated coffee brewers (try saying that after drinking a couple of martinis) Clear, pure, and great tasting water. Good fresh coffee, from a hermetically sealed portion/fractional pack.Follow these simple rules and your clients will leave with a smile instead of a grimace.

How They Make Paella In Spain

How They Make Paella In Spain

If youve never had the customary Spanish recipe of Paella, then youre surely missing out on something superb. There are actually many different variations of the recipe in Spain, and throughout the Spanish culture, but theyre all equally delicious.The dish is made traditionally with seafood, however it can be made with chicken, vegetarian style, or rabbit as well. The one common ingredient that runs throughout however is the rice.The type of rice that you must use for Paella is short-grained rice of which is the long cooking type; this is regardless of any other ingredient variation. If you are looking for a healthier version of the dish, then you can opt for a whole-grain or even a wild rice for yours, just be sure NOT to use instant rice and that when preparing the dish, the rice is able to absorb all the liquids. You want to find that happy medium of the rice not absorbing so much stock so that it becomes limp and soggy. This is when you know youve done it correctly.One thing thats great about Paella is that it can be an impressive dish, even if you are surprised by an influx of unexpected guests. This is when youll simply add more rice to the dish to spread it out over more mouths.Another great aspect of Paella is how flexible of a dish it can be. You can throw in just about anything you have in your cabinets in a dish like this. Again, you just need the correct rice, and a good hearty flavored stock. This is what gives the dish the flavor that you need to please the pallets of your guests or yourself. Using the ingredient Saffron, also known as azafran, is the key ingredient to the yellowish color that is given to the food. This is what distinguishes it as Paella.A recipe for a great Seafood Paella is as follows. Youll need:4 cups rice8 cups good quality fish stock8 king-sized prawns langoustines8 good sized mussles pound shrimp8 ounces fresh or frozen peas2 skinned and then chopped tomatoes. (Heres a quick Tip: Its best to skin the tomatoes by first dipping them in boiling water for a few seconds then running them under cold water. This will make the skin peel right off.)2 garlic cloves sliced very thinly3 strands of saffron which youll simply crumble by hand.Youll want to fry the seafood in a good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil.Youll begin by sauting the garlic in a pot or paella pan. Next, youll add the tomatoes, shrimp, peas and saffron. Cook this until the garlic is tender, but do not let it burn. Doing so will ruin the entire dish. Now put in the uncooked rice and stock. This will simmer for around 20 minutes so that the rice absorbs the stock and plumps up. You dont want the liquids to evaporate too quickly so be sure to cover the dish. Now just poach the remainer of the seafood in boiling water for only a few minutes. Youre ready to eat.

Enjoying Your Favorites With A Coffee And Latte Machine

Enjoying Your Favorites With A Coffee And Latte Machine

For the hard and true coffee lovers among us there are few roads we would not travel for the perfect cup of coffee. We have our favorites usually house specialties with a $5 price tag that cause lines at our nearby coffee houses. And we travel there each and every day sometimes several times a day to pay for the privilege of a cup of liquid gold that will ready us for our day or get us through our afternoon or push us through our end of the day slump. But what if we could have that special treat right in our own kitchens? That same coffee shop quality flavor at no cost to us and available any time we want it?The truth is that when it comes to making our favorite blends at home, coffee lovers are more in luck than ever. The at-home coffee and latte machine has made it possible to enjoy all our favorites without ever leaving our homes.Finding the perfect coffee and latte machine can take some research but can be well worth it. Start with reading any consumer reports you can find to let the research thats been done before work to your advantage. You can find out what specific brands have performed well for other consumers and those that you are best to avoid.Beyond that youll find a number of different models, styles, and colors. Pick your coffee and latte machine that has all the bells and whistles that you desire. After all, this purchase is meant to put you off the $5 coffee/latte habit. So it may be worth it to invest the money now as it will likely pay for itself in a short enough time.The Internet can be a great place to look for a coffee and latte machine; online resources can allow you to shop around and take your time researching different makes and models.Your coffee and latte machine can bring the local coffee house right into your kitchen. Choose wisely coffee lover! And you will be rewarded with a fabulous brew thats always literally at your fingertips.

Cool Down With These Refreshing Cucumber Salad Recipes

Cool Down With These Refreshing Cucumber Salad Recipes

Cucumber salad is particularly ideal for those long, hot afternoons. Very ideal for the dry summer seasons. While summer is still far away for most countries, it would be wise to stock up on these great cucumber recipes that are guaranteed to cool you down.BALINESE CUCUMBER SALAD RECIPEIngredients:3 tablespoons peanuts, dry roasted, coarsely chopped1 cucumber, EuropeanOR1 large regular cucumber1/4 sweet onion, large, such as Vidalia3 tablespoons rice vinegar1 1/2 tablespoon sugar, or more to taste1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to tasteDirections:Set a dry skillet over medium heat. Add the peanuts and heat until lightly browned, about 2 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally. Transfer to a plate to cool.Peel and seed the cucumber. Cut the cucumber crosswise into 3-inch sections, then lengthwise into spaghetti-thin strips. Cut the onion into as thin crosswise slices as possible.Combine the vinegar, sugar, and salt in a serving bowl and whisk until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Taste for seasoning, adding sugar or salt as necessary; the dressing should be both tart and sweet. Stir in the cucumber and onion. Sprinkle the salad with the peanuts and serve.FRESH CUCUMBER SALAD RECIPEIngredients:6 cups fresh cucumbers1 cup sweet pepper, sliced thin2 onions sliced into rings1 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon celery seed2 cups sugar1 cup white vinegarDirections:Mix well. Put in refrigerator, let stand overnight.CUCUMBER SALAD WITH SPICY WASABI DRESSINGIngredients:1 1/2 teaspoon dry wasabi powder (or to taste)1/2 teaspoon warm water2 cucumbers2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar2 teaspoons sugar1 teaspoon sesame oilsalt and freshly ground black pepper1 green onion - thinly sliced1 tablespoon black sesame seeds or toasted white sesame seedsDirections:Mix the wasabi with warm water in the bottom of a mixing bowl and let it stand for 5 minutes.Peel the cucumbers, cut each one in half lengthwise, and use a melon baller or spoon to scoop out the seeds.Cut the cucumbers widthwise into 1/4-inch crescents.Add the vinegar and sugar to the wasabi and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the sesame oil, salt, and pepper.Just before serving, add the cucumbers, green onion, and sesame seeds to the dressing and mix well.CUCUMBER AND GREEN SEAWEED SALAD RECIPEIngredients:2 cucumbers2 radishesSalt as needed1 3/8 ounce green seaweedDressing:3 tablespoons vinegar1 teaspoon soy sauce1 tablespoon sugar2 teaspoons kelp-flavoured fish stockDirections:Slice cucumbers and radishes into thin rounds; salt and leave until dewatered. Wash with water and squeeze out brine.Pour boiling water over green seaweed and cut into bite-size pieces.Thoroughly mix dressing ingredients and add to cucumbers and seaweed just before serving.

Live Longer With The Mediterranean Diet

One of the biggest problems EU leaders have to find ways to overcome is the fact that the "old" continent is in fact becoming old. As the European birth rate has been dropping at a rapid rate over the last couple of decades, the European continent will become soon a continent inhabited by a increasing majority of seniors. Since this demographic trend develops, EU reforms and retirement policies try to address the issue and give Europe its chance to maintain its productivity levels high and its overall outcome on surplus. Thus, contemporary ethnographic studies support that keeping Europeans health at high levels, especially for those over the age of sixty, is not only a social policy act governments should focus on providing, but also a wise economic policy that will keep Europeans able to continue being productive members of society and thus, lowering the negative outcomes of an alarming EU reality. One method to keep older people healthier is to focus on their dietary habits and introducing new nutritional practices that can increase life expectancy levels. According to researchers, one of the choices an aging person has to keep being healthy and active is to follow the Mediterranean diet.In fact, the Mediterranean diet is associated with longer life expectancy among the elderly, because it is characterized by a high intake of vegetables, legumes, fruits, and cereals. Furthermore, one of the basic nutritional elements shared across all Mediterranean cultures is the high intake of fish and the low consumption levels of saturated fats. On the other hand, olive oil, which belongs to the unsaturated fats category, helps the human organism function and provides all the necessary ingredients for the aged part of the EU's population to continue being healthy and thrive. Furthermore, the low intake of dairy products and meat and the modest consumption of alcohol have helped the elderly in countries like Spain and Greece to live longer and healthier lives and maintain their productivity levels high close to the end of their lives.As current evidence suggests, such a diet is beneficial to the health of all individuals regardless of their age group or residence location. Scientists, after examining a variety of factors like diet, lifestyle, medical history, physical activity levels, and smoking have recognized the importance of the Mediterranean diet in keeping the body fit and the mind working properly. In fact, a higher dietary score was associated with a lower overall death rate and evidence suggests that people who follow such a dietary plan are expected to live longer and suffer less from illnesses.What is alarming though is that the younger generation of Europe that has began following the Western type of diet-larger portions, fewer meals, less vegetable and fruit intake-have experienced problems associated with weight gain and are now battling against disfiguring their body types. Modern way of living, stress, less available time to prepare a proper meal and other problems, have led parents to neglect the nutrition of their children and has led them to fight problems such that of youth obesity and low self-esteem. Educating seniors should be a combined effort with educating youth as both age groups are considered currently to be the future of the "aging" European continent.

What Does Certified Organic Mean?

The meaning of organic.The dictionary says organic means of, related to or derived from living organisms. Most people reading this will say, yes, yes I knew that. But what you may not know is that the use of this word by producers and manufacturers can be misused or misunderstood. Its use is far more complicated then slapping the term on a box or can and calling it organic. As Im sure every citizen of this country is aware by now, manufacturers twist terms, words, and phrases into the image they want to portray to the public. Unfortunately this rarely reflects the true nature of the product, healthy or otherwise. Its generally a sales ploy.All Natural as an exampleWeve all heard the words all natural for many, many years and weve all been duped for many, many years into believing this meant the product we were consuming was completely of nature when of course there is no guarantee that it truly is all natural. Manufacturers may include plant abstracts or juices in products, call it natural, then add in chemical preservatives, dies, and perfumes thus rendering an originally healthy product toxic and the public is rarely aware of it as they go about their daily lives. Not only that but natural ingredients is no guarantee that they werent grown in chemical laden fields or taken from hormone laced livestock. This is an example of a very misused term and one that is unregulated by the government. Buyer beware!So what is certified organic?The same applies, to varying degree, to the products labeled organic, accept that there are some USDA rules and guidelines for the use of the term certified organic. In order for a product to carry the USDA certified organic label it must be 95% organic. This leaves 5% leeway for manufacturers to insert non-organic stuff, maybe non-organic ingredients, maybe preservatives, maybe anything. To be guaranteed of a 100% organic product you must look for the 100% symbol. The USDA stamp alone is no promise that there isnt some toxic substance in that extra 5%. Products may be labeled made with certified organic ingredients if they are 70% organic, meaning that 30% may be of non-organic origins. And finally manufacturers are permitted to list organically produced ingredients on the side label if their product contains less then 70% certified organic ingredients. So, conclusion: it is very hard to escape the chemical world weve all been plunged into, willingly or unwillingly.Certified organic gets downplayed by congress

Summary

"What is the last thing that your patrons taste/drink before leaving a restaurant ?" And if you do not believe me go out there and watch. Nearly everybody will toss back that last cold cup of coffee before leaving their table, therefore it is vitally important that your coffee tastes wonderful hot, warm or cold. Now how can you be sure that your coffee tastes good. STEP ONE : CLEAN the EQUIPMENT Cleanliness is more important than godliness, therefore ensure that y...